Many retailers are terrified of turning into a showroom. They fear consumers will come only to test out the products they’ll later buy online.
Many stores, including Restoration Hardware’s rival Pottery Barn, fought showrooming by “rushing to lower prices,” Solsman writes.
But Restoration Hardware decreased its number of physical stores and used the remaining ones as showrooms. Sofas, tables, rugs and other decor were meticulously arranged with an emphasis on the aesthetic. Customers could find even more merchandise online or in catalogues while shopping in the stores.
The tactic is working. Direct-to-consumer now makes up half of Restoration Hardware’s business, and the retailer has reported double-digit sales growth for 10 quarters, according to Solsman.
“Furniture and decor, unlike consumer electronics and other items, aren’t easily searchable by specifications,” Solsman writes. “A highly fragmented market, home furnishings sellers benefit from many players having proprietary merchandise, which stunts online competitive threats.”
The CFTC is suing popular betting site Intrade. And now Intrade is telling its customers to start shutting down their accounts.
ATTENTION U.S. CUSTOMERS – IMPORTANT!
We are sorry to announce that due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets.
Unfortunately this means that all US residents must begin the process of closing down their Intrade accounts. We strongly urge you to begin this process immediately:
Step 1: Close out open predictions
You must close out all open predictions before 8:00am GMT (3:00am ET) on December 23, 2012. Instructions on how to close out an open prediction can be found HERE.
If this is not done then by the deadline noted above, Intrade will close out your predictions for you at what we consider to be fair market value as of the daily session close of December 23, 2012.
Fair market value will be determined using current and historical price information, including daily close prices and recent trades. Values will be set at the absolute discretion of Intrade and will not be open for review, discussion or argument – our determination of fair market value is final.
Step 2: Withdraw funds
Please note, no customers will be charged the $4.99 monthly fee due on December 1, 2012.
Members have until December 31, 2012, to withdraw all funds from their account. Instructions on how to request a withdrawal can be found HERE.
To h! elp you receive your funds as quickly and easily as possible, the $20 fee normally charged by Intrade for processing a bank wire withdrawal will be waived. Please be aware however that any fees charged by the sending and receiving bank, plus any intermediary bank the transfer is routed through will NOT be refunded by Intrade.
We understand this announcement may come as a surprise and a disappointment to our US customers, but this in no way signals the end of Intrade in the US. In the near future we’ll announce plans for a new exchange model that will allow legal participation from all jurisdictions – including the US. We believe this new model will further enhance Intrade position as the leading prediction market platform for real time probabilities about future events. We would like to sincerely thank our US customers for their custom, support and loyalty over the years.
For our non-US customers, we will continue to offer real-money prediction markets. In the coming weeks and months we plan to implement a number of improvements to the Intrade website. These include expanding our market categories to include sports, adding more convenient funding options and a new and improved trading interface. We’ll keep you posted on these initiatives as they develop.
This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at November 26, 2012 20:53:16 UTC
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